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History's Coming To's Journal: {a href="Hyperlinks"} 2

Journal by History's Coming To
We've lost sight of what the internet is for.

That deserves a +5 Insightful I reckon ;)

OK, I'll be more specific. We've lost sight of one of the big, original reasons that the World Wide Web was set up for. In fact, it's almost a defining reason. People keep trying to patent it, and everyone gets upset and says you can't patent something so obvious. But back in the day it wasn't obvious. It really did get invented, I kid you not.

I'm talking, of course, about Hyperlinks. Yup, I'm capitalising them as well, because they deserve it. Hyperlinks are probably, computers and very long tubes aside, one of the most important inventions in the development of what we now know as the interweb. Without Hyperlinks there is no web. There's just a huge collection of files, nothing more than a glorified FTP network. But it's the Hyperlinks that join them, that bind them together. Hyperlinks, especially the obscure ones, are what make "surfing" possible, they're the reason you can go from Slashdot to Bonsai Kittens to Scunthorpe local parish newsletter to

I've not checked, but I bet you can.

They're what turns a disparate group of computers, each with a shared folder full of specialist info, into a modern-day network. And it's a Small World network at that, thanks to the minority of wonderfully esoteric links.

So Hyperlinks Good. The original idea was to make referencing documents really easy (hence "href", Hyper Reference). But that's not what they're used for these days. Advertising has come along and smeared its corporate logos across a great many pages, and (to be fair) funded a lot of these pages too. But it means that page owners are now really trying to stop you from leaving their site, or if you do, making sure that you go to another site that is offering them a PPM kickback. They certainly don't want to link you directly to what you're looking for, a plain old text document with no adverts whatsoever.

History's Coming To Get Us...
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